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Coperion consolidating North American operations

By: Michael Lauzon

June 4, 2014

Coperion GmbH is consolidating its North American operations to more fully integrate the Coperion and Coperion K-Tron businesses, the Stuttgart, Germany, company announced June 4.

Most of the positions at Coperion’s North American head office in Ramsey, N.J., will be relocated to Pitman, N.J., Wytheville, Va., and Houston. Ramsey currently has about 100 employees. The relocation will occur over 18 months as Pitman and Wytheville will be modified to accommodate additional production responsibilities.

Houston will handle support sales and engineering for polyolefin customers.

Wytheville has been Coperion’s main extruder-related production operation in the United States with Ramsey doing a smaller amount. Wytheville will become the center of all U.S.-based extruder-related manufacturing and warehousing.

Pitman will continue to be the U.S. base for Coperion K-Tron feeding and pneumatic conveying equipment, including sales and engineering. The location will expand its extrusion testing and demonstration laboratory.

Ramsey had been a major producer of compounding extruders until Coperion decided to shift most production to Germany in 2003. Its predecessor, Werner & Pfleiderer, started producing the equipment in Ramsey in 1976. Coperion was formed in 2000 when it bought Werner & Pfleiderer. K-Tron became associated with Coperion when Hillenbrand Inc. of Batesville, Ind., owner of K-Tron, bought Coperion in 2012. K-Tron is a manufacturer of bulk materials handling systems that neatly dovetail with Coperion’s extruder business. Hillenbrand also owns Rotex Inc., a diverse screening and material-separation equipment supplier.

“We are realigning our assets to take advantage of available space and to bring the management and operation teams closer together,” noted Coperion President Thomas Kehl in a news release issued from Coperion’s head office in Stuttgart, Germany. “We expect this realignment to improve our efficiencies and provide even stronger support for our customers in the Americas.”

A spokeswoman said no similar relocations are planned for Coperion operations in Germany. Coperion employs about 2,500 and runs nearly 40 sales and service companies globally.